Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings says he thinks he knows one of the reasons why Toyota chose to relocate its new headquarters from Torrance, CA to Plano rather than Dallas.
It's no secret that Rawlings wants to shake up the Dallas Independent School District with home rule, but now, the mayor is pointing to Toyota as an example of how DISD in its current state presents a challenge when competing for corporations.
“We are losing competition,” said Rawlings. “This tax base cannot support 700,000 to 800,000 commuters coming in. Meanwhile, our kids are coming out of high school and getting ready to be poor again, and they don't have a chance out of this. Every year we have 7,000 kids who aren't ready for college.”
The district responded by saying, "Dallas ISD is proud to have, for the third year in a row, the best high school in the country ....along with the 8th best high school. While we are thrilled with these success stories, we continue to acknowledge our challenges and work diligently with staff, students, parents and the community."
Rawlings’ statements seem to contradict his glowing comments about DISD magnet schools on Tuesday in an op-ed piece in the Huffington Post.
“For him to be touting that we have the best in the nation, yet that's the reason that economic growth isn't coming to our city, it's like, which side of the mouth is he speaking out of today?” said Rena Honea with Alliance AFT. “You can't have it both ways.”
DISD Board President Eric Cowan sees it another way.
"I think this presents an opportunity for the mayor to engage in talks about bringing a manufacturing plant to the southern sector so our graduating students and their families will have additional employment opportunities,” said Cowan in a statement.
Mayor Rawlings says school district stats are especially important for companies hoping existing employees will relocate with them.
FOX 4 also spoke to DISD trustee Lew Blackburn, who said, "The sky is not falling at in Dallas ISD.” He added that he’d prefer if the mayor had nicer things to say about the district.
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